The Union of Journalists asks to open criminal case against the police of Sochi

The Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) has appealed to the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF) asking to consider the issue of opening a criminal case on the fact of obstructing the lawful activities of Anna Gritsevich, a "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that ecologist Vladimir Kimaev and Anna Gritsevich were detained on June 29 during the police raid to the village of Chereshnya, where local residents protested against a landfill organized after the flood in Sochi on June 25. They were charged with disobeying policemen. In the evening, the detainees were released on recognizance to appear at the court. On July 6, the court arrested Gritsevich for three days; the same punishment was imposed on Kimaev on July 7.

"We've sent to Alexander Bastrykin (the head of the ICRF, – note of the "Caucasian Knot") our proposal to open a criminal investigation into obstruction of the lawful professional activities of the journalist," said Pavel Gutiontov, a secretary of the RUJ and the Chairman of the Committee to Protect Freedom of Speech and Journalists' Rights. "We wrote that over 25 years of existence of Article 144 of the Russian Criminal Code, we don't know a single case, when the guilty person was punished. This case, in our view, could become a precedent."

The "Caucasian Knot" has posted a video of Anna's detention, which clearly shows that the journalist performed at the rally the edition's assignment.

Policemen did not allow the journalist, who was fulfilling the assignment, to receive information and then disseminate it, said Galina Arapova, the head of the Centre for Defence of Media Rights of the RUJ. In her opinion, in this situation it is necessary to demand a check of policemen's actions.

Author: Elena Khrustalevac; Source: CK correspondent